Crafting a quality blog post can take a lot – a lot(!) – of time.
Let me show you.
Exhibit (a): this post of ours comparing three of the most popular “mega themes” for WordPress – Divi vs Avada vs X Theme took around 16.5 hours to complete.
As in, from blank screen, all the way to hitting the “publish” button, it took us 16.5 hours of work.
That being said, you shouldn’t really expect to craft a quality blog post in less than 3-4 hours.
How to write a good blog post
In the following sections, I’ll show you what the exact steps are. Here’s how to write a good blog post:
🥅 Step 1: Start with the goal in mind
Every blog post that you publish should have a specific purpose behind it – a goal that you want to further with the use of that post.
I know this might sound a bit “grand” perhaps, so let’s break things down:
First off, you need a content strategy when running a blog. You can’t just begin publishing posts left and right and hope that things will magically happen on their own.
In fact, compiling an actual written blog strategy doubles your chance of success (data says).
(Charts by Visualizer Lite.)
You need to start with your main goal.
A goal for your blog is the answer to the question of “why do you blog?” – a crucial element when figuring out how to write a good blog post.
- Do you want to build a brand in your niche and make a name for yourself?
- Do you want to make money by referring people to products and earn commissions?
- Do you want to sell your own products?
- Do you want to let people know about the latest goings-on within your company, or some events happening nearby?
- Do you want people to visit your brick and mortar business?
- Do you want to generate leads which you can then take and follow up with?
- Or maybe there’s something entirely different that’s on your radar…
- Continue building up our brand in the WordPress community by providing an in-depth resource that WordPress pros can benefit from.
- Grow our newsletter.
- Bring additional income through affiliate links.
Check it out, see what you think of that post.
🔑 Step 2: Pick the right keyword
Each post that you publish should tackle a specific main keyword or key-phrase.
Ideally, that keyword is something that people search for a lot on Google, yet there’s not many other posts or sites that compete to provide answers.
You can do keyword research with tools like Google Keyword Planner or KWFinder. I personally enjoy the latter since it comes back with a lot of additional details on each keyword and does a good job of suggesting actual questions that people might have on the topic. It also tells you how difficult it’s going to be to earn a good spot for that keyword.
🗞 Step 3: Come up with 5 (or more) alternative headlines
At this point, you have the main idea for your blog post mostly crafted. This means that you probably have the headline roughly figured out as well. However, you shouldn’t actually settle on a final headline too soon.
Headlines do matter. Like, they really – really(!) – matter. Various research pieces done over the years indicate that headlines account for as much as 80% of any given article’s success. While this may sound insane at first, it actually checks out when we look at some of the absolute leaders in the headline game … BuzzFeed and Upworthy.
Everyone’s favorite “I really need to procrastinate right now!” -websites have made it a point to work on perfecting each and every one of their headlines … to the point of absurd. Rest assured, when you see a headline like, “Which Justin Bieber Hairstyle Are You?” it’s no coincidence.
For example, it’s been reported that the editors at Upworthy propose up to 25 alternative headlines for every piece of content. That list is then narrowed down to a few final versions which are tested against each other.
Why do they do this? What do they know about how to write a good blog post that we don’t?
If your prospective visitor doesn’t get excited upon seeing your headline, they won’t ever see the rest of your post, no matter how awesome it might be.
This is quite simple, actually: When you’re getting ready to work on your next blog post, don’t put your
pen keyboard down until you have five alternative versions of your working headline.
Then, once you’re done working on the post – once you go through the rest of the steps described below – come back to your headline ideas again and write another round of five new ones – leaving you with 10 alternative headlines in total.
This is the original outline:
- Explain what a CDN is.
- Server locations.
- Pricing and features available (plus all the unique features that each CDN might have).
- Performance compared.
- The technical setup – what each CDN actually does under the hood.
- WordPress integration.
- Market popularity.
- Conclusion + ultimate comparison table.
👨🔬 Step 5: Do your research
Putting in the groundwork and doing sufficient research before (and throughout) writing a blog post is probably the most overlooked part of the process.
We often trick ourselves into thinking that “I know this stuff! I can write from my head.”
Well, the harsh truth is that there are very few bloggers out there who are read because people actually care about their opinions. Most people care about rather what the content that the blogger provides can do for them.
This basically comes down to one thing – trust.
Before you build sufficient trust, people have no reason to believe anything you say.
What I’m trying to say is that you can’t afford to write content based purely on your own thoughts and opinions when you’re just starting out. So this is where hard data comes into the picture.
Here’s what you can do specifically:
- Write on day one.
- Edit on day two.
- Proofread on day three.
Sounds like overdoing it, but hear me out:
Example. Here’s what I mean by a custom-layout post. Notice the non-standard columns and image alignment.
🔁 Step 7: Repeat
All that’s left now is to keep coming back and going through the process over and over again with each consecutive blog post of yours.
There might be nothing sexy about this process, sorry … there’s really no silver bullet solution when it comes to publishing reliable, quality blog posts. It all comes down to regular effort and being conscious of why you want to write a certain blog post and what you can expect from it.
Overall, your task when crafting any blog post is to share information that nobody else shares, or information that people would happily pay for, yet you are giving to them for free.
For example, our first hit on this blog was a post titled How to Simplify the WP-Admin to Get It Client-Friendly. At the time, there were virtually no posts on the topic and few people knew this was possible, yet, there were still users looking this up on Google anyway. We noticed this and wrote the post.
This about sums up the topic of how to write a good blog post and also Chapter 8 of our upcoming guide on how to build, grow and promote a blog. Here are all the important steps again, in checklist form – should make things easier to follow as you’re going through the motions:
- 🥅 Step 1: Start with the goal in mind
- 🔑 Step 2: Pick the right keyword
- 🗞 Step 3: Come up with 5 (or more) alternative headlines
- 📁 Step 4: Prepare the outline
- 👨🔬 Step 5: Do your research
- ✍ Step 6: Write → Edit → Proofread
- 🔁 Step 7: Repeat
Also, is there anything in particular that you’d like to achieve with your blog by the end of the year?
Share in the comments.